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Big Donuts


Friends,
I overheard a thought-provoking joke this week. The punch line goes something like “my smart speaker stole my bitcoin and eloped with my vacuum in my self-driving car”. It’s funny because this 21st century problem, while unlikely, does seem somewhat plausible. It speaks to the promise and threat the future holds. I don’t know how you feel about this, but my first inclination is to get a little freaked-out. Then I take a deep breath and think these changes are being driven by humans to help humans. Ideally, technologies like blockchain, machine learning and artificial intelligence will remove friction, lower cost and remove humans from job functions for which machines are better suited. Repetitive tasks, driving insights from large datasets, structured problems. Of course there are always unintended consequences. If quantum computing reaches sufficient qubits to enable artificial consciousness and humans cease to be the center of innovation, then I hope our new overlords will be benevolent and set us to work on tasks at which machines are not particularly adept. But why worry. Why not enjoy a donut instead, that’s something machines are not good at (yet).
Happy Friday!

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